i‑SERF: An Integrated Self‑Evaluated and Regulated Framework for Deploying Web 2.0 Technologies in the Educational Process pp320‑332
Abstract: In this paper we propose i‑SERF (integrated‑Self Evaluated and Regulated Framework) an integrated self‑evaluated and regulated framework, which facilitates synchronous and asynchronous education, focusing on teaching and learning in higher education. The i‑SERF framework is a two‑layered framework that takes into account various elements of existing frameworks, introducing though as a new element the means of a self‑evaluation, self‑feeding and regulation mechanism. This mechanism is based on the performance of students, on the students’ answers to appropriately structured questionnaires and on the online monitoring of the supporting platform’s parameters. The outcome derived from a “self‑evaluation” process is then feeding i‑SERF in order to obtain self‑regulation, for the next deployment. In this way, i‑SERF remains alive and progressing. The proposed framework aims to offer the needed background for designing Web 2.0 educational platforms that may exhibit continuous improvement functions, providing in that way considerable benefits to both students and tutors in various fields. A pilot implementation, using an education‑oriented suite with enriched interactive elements supporting a variety of terminal devices, combined with a thorough assessment that utilizes advanced statistical tools has revealed the potentials of the platform to successfully deploy the principles of the i‑SERF framework to yield powerful learning experiences and high quality interactions between students and teachers.
Analysis of Social Worker and Educator's Areas of Intervention Through Multimedia Concept Maps And Online Discussion Forums In Higher Education pp333‑346
Abstract: This diachronic study describes an innovative university experience consisting of the development of multimedia concept maps (MCM) in relation to social educators and social workers main intervention areas and an active discussion in online fo rums about the results obtained. These MCMs were prepared by students who attended the Information Technologies and Communication course as part of the Degree in Social Education and dual Degree in Social Education and Work during the academic years 2010‑ 13 at Pablo Olavide University (Seville‑Spain). Following a methodological framework based on virtual, collaborative action‑research, a qualitative analysis is implemented to analyze 213 MCMs created by students and their interventions in ad hoc online discussion forums with a twofold methodological approach: firstly a qualitative analysis of word frequencies in MCM through the use of Atlas‑Ti software and secondly a forum discussion categorization through a reticular, category based social network anal ysis using UCINET and yED Graph Editor. Among the most relevant conclusions, we can highlight that a combination of MCMs and discussion forums are highly interactive and collaborative digital resources and are especially beneficial when applied to social studies. Students were able to identify and categorize key areas of social and educational intervention, including: seniors, children, teens and drug dependence, people with disabilities, adults, mental health, socio‑community care, and immigrants.
Keywords: Keywords: social educator, social worker, multimedia concept maps, forums, online discussion, Higher Education
Student Response (clicker) Systems: Preferences of Biomedical Physiology Students in Asian classes pp347‑356
Abstract: Student response systems (commonly called clickers) are valuable tools for engaging students in classroom interactions. In this study, we investigated the use of two types of response systems (a traditional clicker and a mobile device) by stud
Keywords: Keywords: Web-based response system, clickers, student perception, human physiology, classroom interaction
Abstract: Autism is a disorder in the growth and development of a brain or central nervous system that covers a large spectrum of impairment, symptoms and skills. The children who are suffering from autism face difficulties in communicating and adapting w ell in the community as they have trouble in understanding what others think and feel. Therefore, there is a need to design effective e‑learning method to ease the communication process and to deliver required knowledge to autistic children. Past research ers have highlighted that a virtual reality based learning environment, a computer simulated environment, can facilitate the learning process among autistic children. It is also recognized that the virtual agent plays an important role in virtual worlds a s it eases the communication process between the virtual environment (VE) and children with autism. This research aimed to design an effective learning environment for autistic children by developing a virtual environment prototype using face‑to‑face in terviews and picture exchange communication system (PECS) methodology for data collection which was analysed using quantitative tests. The findings suggest that the toilet virtual environment topped the list for being the most popular learning environ ment among autistic children for behavioural training. The designed prototype identifies autistic childrens and their parents needs and also addresses limitations in an existing virtual environment.
Keywords: Keywords: autism, picture exchange communication system, PECS, virtual environment, VE, virtual agent
Abstract: In many K‑12 and higher education contexts, the use of smart mobile devices increasingly affords learning experiences that are situated, authentic and connected. While earlier reviews of mobile technology may have led to criticism of these devic es as being largely for consumption, many current uses emphasize creativity and productivity, with diverse purposes ranging from blogging and social networking to near full‑scale video editing, office productivity and language translation. These affordanc es are further made possible by the large‑scale development of mobile applications (or apps). For the vast majority of mobile device users ‑ now numbering in the billions ⠍ many of these learning experiences are informal and just‑in‑time, sometimes un planned, unsanctioned by educational discourse and beyond the immediate locus of institutional control. As smart technologies become increasingly an extension of the personal, educators are faced with the question: how can we best facilitate and explicate the learning process and design relevant experiences that leverage the affordances of so many mobile devices? This paper explores how the effective use of apps enable the learning process to be visualized in ways that support meaningful and student‑cente red learning. The authors discuss recent developments in technology, mobile learning and multiliteracies, drawing on a range of case studies deploying mobile devices and using apps as part of learner‑led inquiry processes to enable creativity, collaborati on and critical thinking. Emerging from these case studies are real classroom examples, teacher‑student reflections, scaffolds and working models that all speak to the importance of using apps to visualize learning and support learners at each stage of th e learning process. Exploring the connections between mobile devices, media literacy and visual literacy, the paper also emphasizes the collaborative affordances of many current apps and the importance of multimodal forms of representation through gesture , voice, text, video and audio. Citing the com
Staff Development and Institutional Support for Technology Enhanced Learning in UK Universities pp380‑389
Abstract. This paper presents the findings of a mixed methods study conducted in the context of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). More specifically, it focuses on the staff development needs of tutors who teach in blended and online environments, th e ways HEIs in the United Kingdom (UK) address these needs and institutional issues around the deployment and support of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) by campus‑based institutions. The informants in both phases of this research were the heads of e‑learning in various UK HEIs. Using an online questionnaire, quantitative data were gathered on the various ways that the staff development needs of the lecturers in blended and online learning have been addressed by UK HEIs. During the second phase of t his research, eight semi‑structured interviews were conducted. The findings from both phases are integrated in the results section of the paper.
Keywords: Keywords: staff development, technology enhanced learning, blended learning, online learning, HEIs
Abstract: Web resources allow a learner to have more opportunities for study at any time and any place. It is still difficult, however, for learners to choose the right study materials to match their desired learning. A competence‑based system for recomme nding study materials from the Web (COSREW) is proposed, based on the learners competences. COSREWgenerates a list of learning paths, and extracts search terms from the competence statements on the chosen learning path. Three experiments were conducted to evaluate COSREWs recommendations. The first explored the differences between search engines and the qualities of the study material links in helping learners achieve their competences. The second experiment explored the differences between search key words, and the third experiment comparedCOSREW with freely‑browsing learning modes. The results showed that the Web is currently not a good resource for a pedagogically informed competence‑based system, since Web pages predominantly comprise text‑based su bject matter content with little support for learning competence or capability.
Keywords: Keywords: Competency Model, Competence Structure, Web-based Learning, Internet Supported Learning, Pedagogy, Self-learning
Learner Differences in Perceived Satisfaction of an Online Learning: an Extension to the Technology Acceptance Model in an Arabic Sample pp412‑430
Abstract: Online learning constitutes the most popular distance‑learning method, with flexibility, accessibility, visibility, manageability and availability as its core features. However, current research indicates that its efficacy is not consistent acro ss all learners. This study aimed to modify and extend the factors of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) to examine perceived satisfaction of an Arabic sample in online learning. The integrated factors in the modified model includes: deep level (lea rning styles), surface level (gender), and cognitive (online self‑efficacy) factors. Learning styles were chosen as a central factor. Hence, the online course was purposefully developed to support one pole in each dimension of Felder and Silverman Le arning Styles Model (FSLSM) in order to reveal the pedagogical implications of learning styles on learner satisfaction. A total of 70 learners participated voluntarily in the research. At the end of the online course, they were requested to fill in two questionnaires: the Index of Learning Styles (ILS) and a standard questionnaire. The psychometric properties of the latter were firstly analysed to validate the instrument. Then, Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS‑SEM) was conduc ted to examine the proposed hypotheses. The model achieves an acceptable fit and explains 44.8% of variance. Perceived usefulness represented the best predictor, whereas online self‑efficacy and perceived ease of use failed to show a direct impact on perc eived satisfaction. Furthermore, neither learning styles nor gender diversity had direct influence on the dependent factors. Accordingly, the research suggested that other variables may have to be integrated to enhance the power of the model.
Keywords: Keywords: online learning, learning styles, gender diversity, online self-efficacy, learner satisfaction, Technology Acceptance Model, TAM